‘If you don’t like it here… go back home’

17 02 2008

I really hate it when I get into discussion with certain people about what being a Muslim means to me… the discussion often concludes with one sentence, and more than often since Dr Rowan William’s comments. ‘If you don’t like it here, go back HOME.’ Go back home, where? I don’t have a ‘back home’. I find this kind of response annoying more than offensive because of ignorance and narrow mindedness involved, and that coming from people depicted as the most progressive and civilised people on earth. I am not shy to discuss what I believe in, and I dont’t have a problem presenting it to people as an alternative way of life, why can’t people do the same? I don’t know.

If we were to explore the idea of going back home, which unlike me, most immigrant Muslims living in the West can do so…would it solve anyones problem? Well, not really. Most Muslim countries which have abundance of resources are run by tyrant despotic rulers installed and supported by the West working to secure those resources for the West. Regimes changes only occur when the Western interests are at risk of being fulfilled, one dictator is simply replaced by another and sometimes at the cost of thousand of innocent lives such as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most problems of the Muslim world, however complex, can sometimes be narrowed down to the presence of these idiot rulers and their puppet regimes working against Islam and Muslims in cahoots with the Western rulers. And when any neo Islamic party termed ‘Islamist’ comes close to power even through fair electoral process, who feels the first itch? Sometimes it seems almost impossible for Muslim world to free itself from the shackles of Imperialism/colonialism and the constant interference from the West to be able to decide its own political destiny.  So what are they suppose to do? Perhaps, it would sound reasonable to send people back home if they were going to bring back their own troops, stop interfering in their lands and allow them to live however they wish to. But that I don’t see happening, not when this hypocritical theory of ‘one law for all’ will soon be applicable to the world.

Regardless of all that, the ‘if you don’t like it here, go back home’ attitude clearly highlights the strength of ideas people hold and their views towards minorities. Muslims are accused of being emotional, ready to explode the minute their faith is questioned, but didn’t those accusers explode with emotions of anger at the speech made by Dr Rowan Williams? Is it understandable for people to react in such way? Isn’t it clear that it is not only some Muslims, but narrow-mindedness, ignorance, intolerance very much prevails in the West too?


Gillian Gibbons and Samina Malik

26 11 2007

Gillian Gibbons, a British school teacher working in Sudan was arrested yesterday for naming a teddy bear. It is reported that she allowed 6 year olds at the expensive English school to name the bear after Prophet Mohammed (saw). According to the Sudanese law a non-Muslim could face a maximum penalty of lashes, prison, a fine and deportation if found guilty of Blasphemy. (More on this at the bbc)

To some this may just be an innocent mistake, a mistake made by a 54 year old school teacher. But can she be excused for ignorance? I believe, anyone taking up a teaching profession or else in an hostile region like Sudan must at least make some effort to understand the sensitivities of the people. This level of ignorance can conveniently be interpreted as hatred by those waiting to be offended and being a minority means they are guilty until proven innocent. At least that was the case with the 23 year old Muslim girl charged with ‘Terrorism” for possessing a book, here in the UK.

Samina Malik, is a young Muslim woman who worked in a stationary shop. Her crime, she wrote poems under the alias ‘Lyrical Terrorist’ of somewhat graphical nature and out of sheer curiosity downloaded some articles from the internet. As a teenager she wrote love poems according to her viewpoint of life at the time, later her purpose of life or viewpoint changed as she turned to Islam and so did her subjects of poetry. Reading and watching atrocities against Muslims day and day out, she wrote poems to express her anger like most other anti-establishment teenagers. However, what she did not know was that one day her very writings will put her behind bars for six years, for unlike most other teenagers who are into violence, she is a Muslim.

Can we assume that both women have made innocent mistakes and they had no real intentions of harming anyone? They became victims of their own ignorance or should they be treated as guilty until proven innocent due to their minority status?? There are high chances of Gillian Gibbons facing deportation only… depending upon Sudan’s inability to withstand pressure from the West because she is a British national in Sudan. Whereas Samina Malik has no such chance, being a Muslim in Britain she is accused of embracing an ‘evil ideology’ according to Blair, where ‘all terrorists are Muslim’. But there is a striking difference between Sudan – a war torn third world country facing serious humanitarian crisis with no rule of law, and Britain.

further readings on Samina Malik case:

An attack on liberty

Think no evil? are you serious?

Terror Stricken

Has Islam been Hijacked in the UK?

3 11 2007

Policy Exchange is a center-right think tank based in London. Recently they have published a report entitled: The hijacking of British Islam. Far from an extensive honest research it appears to be an agenda document propagating a campaign against Islam and Muslims in the UK. Policy exchange has previously published reports and researches on similar lines which can be deemed as material spreading hatred towards Muslim members of society. Although they don’t advocate violence, they are hell-bent on taking their hateful extreme version of liberal democracy to the world at the cost of innocent lives…which would inevitably lead to violence and chaos as we see in parts of the world.

The author of the recent report is a Dr. Denis MacEoin, Wikipedia article describes him as:

a novelist and a former lecturer in Islamic studies. His academic specializations are Shi‘ism, Shaykhism, Bábism, and the Bahá’í Faith, on all of which he has written extensively. His novels are written under the pen names Daniel Easterman and Jonathan Aycliffe.

The article also mentions:

In recent years, he has become active in pro-Israel advocacy (hasbara), chiefly in his capacity as a writer. He continues to work on Islamic issues, particularly the development of radical Islam.

I think reports such as these should serve as a wakeup call for the advocates of liberal democracy who are quick to address extremism elsewhere, when they have such dangerous form of extremism growing inside. Perhaps one day we will see the moderate voices condemn these hate-filled extremists from mainstream think tanks and British politics for sake of a peaceful progressive future. I am not counting on it!

The video below contain an interesting interview by Riz Khan (al-Jazeera) with guests from Policy Exchange and the Muslim council of Britain.

Mina Ahadi – Secularist of the Year!

29 10 2007

Mina Ahadi,  an Iranian dissident was recently awarded Secularist of the year Award by UK’s National Secular Society. Secularism in a nutshell is an assertion or belief that religious issues should not be the basis of politics, and Ahadi has striven against the religious clergy in Iran. Ahadi is also member of the communist workers party in Iran, a devert from Islam and founding member of the committee of ex-Muslims. Her achievements for secularism primarily circle around personal vendetta against Islam based on her experiences in Iran and perhaps her affiliation with communism. Hence, she accurately fits in description of a circumstantial secularist, a proponent of secularism in countries like Iran, who would be greeted with open arms by the Western secularists. In fact, any anti-Islam element, be it an organisation or individual can reach fame these days by criticising Islam or its laws in the West, like the fraudster turned media whore Ayan al-Heresay and the likes.

The secularist West is not sparing a single stone unturned in its secular vision for the Middle-east and the Muslim World. Iran stands accused of fuelling the ‘deadly ideology’ as the West prepares to enforce its ‘peaceful’ Secular ideology by initiating a War on Iran. We have already seen and continue to watch the fruits of Secularism in Afghanistan, Iraq, and may have to brace ourselves to see Secularism in action as the case for war on Iran is concocted.

Our secularist of the year probably is an outcast in Iranian society and certainly does not represent the views of the masses. Although, she is unable to influence the masses in Iran through ideas alone due to serious lack of substance, she may win some sympathisers by glorifying her experiences or perhaps become an Iranian Secularist icon. That’s not so important, not as much as how a Secularist is awarded and an Islamist declared ‘evil’ when those distinguishing good from evil are the very Secularists on a mission to destroy the world.

Politics of ‘Terrorist Attacks’

22 10 2007

This week marks the “Islamo-Fascism awareness week” a campaign initiated by a ‘Terrorism Awareness Project‘, which also coincides with “Stop Kuffarphobia Demonstration” organised by Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) on 26th of October in London. What a busy week for some! I don’t really know what to say about these campaigns because I am unable to find any intellectual basis for this kind of Islamophobic attitude. We all know what student life is about, you have too much time, energy and perhaps anger, which can be tapped into very easily by those searching out for foot soldiers to push their agendas. I wouldn’t be surprised if their blind hatred for Islam one day became source of their guidance! Anway, what is more interesting is how the media will report these events and the reaction from various communities. Let’s see how it goes.

Apart from that, Terrorist attacks are on the high these days. Though, there is something indifferent or strange about the recent trend of terrorist attacks… no one is coming forward to claim responsibility for one, and if there is one.. the org is likely to be unheard of. What is also interesting is that ‘terrorist attacks’ are becoming part and parcel of mainstream politics. Like all other form of political activism, significant political events are nowadays followed by terrorist attacks which almost always serve the interest of the rulers, particularly when it comes to implementing certain anti-Islam policies. Gordon Brown’s taking office followed terrorist attack in Glasgow and more recently, the former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto’s return to homeland triggered off a terrorist attack. Everyone is too quick to point fingers at the Islamic separatists or those ‘militants’ from the neighboring Afghanistan, perhaps rightly so, since some of their leaders have been threatening BB with attempts on her life. However, surely if it was one of them they would have claimed by now since the purpose of terrorism is to make that political point which cannot be made without identification of the perpetrator, their motives, objectives and demands.

What I also find puzzling is that these terrorists are considered masterminds and the complexity of their operations speak volumes, furthermore they are armed with the latest weapons technology, satellites, sophisticated intelligence and so on.. which beggars the question: why are their victims always innocent poor civilians?? If they wished to target Government or Army staff, they could very well do that as I am sure most of them walk about freely with minimum security for day to day chores!

If these terrorist are motivated by Islam as it is claimed, wouldn’t the negative public opinion generated from attacks on civilians kill their popularity?? Could it be that there are other terrorist networks working to discredit the existing networks? What about the Government itself? If anyone, Musharaf’s ailing government has the most to gain from these attacks with upcoming elections. Whilst Islamists are discredited, BB (who has been dismissed twice on corruption charges) and her early return to Pakistan was actually to escape money laundering charges in Switzerland rather to restore ‘democracy’, seem like a victim and a distraction away from her trials abroad. It is alleged that BB has made a deal backed by the US and Britain to save their long serving puppet Musharaf. This alliance did not go so well with some members of Musharaf’s Q league as well as some army officials. This is further confirmed by a statement by Bhutto to the BBC:

“I’m not saying the government hatched a plot, but I am saying that elements within the administration and security apparatuses are people who want me out of the way,” Ms Bhutto said.

“The extremists are worried about my return because it promises change and they would like to stop the change and transition to democracy… And they would like to kill me.”

This makes me question the whole concept, idea and the politics of terrorist attacks. They have been going on for too long in Iraq between the Shia and Sunnis, who previously lived together side by side until the US interference in the region. More importantly who gains from these attacks? not Sunni or Shia.

So who is behind these chain of terrorist attacks? Who are these terrorists? Well, the so called ‘terrorists’ we have known need to know there are ‘Others’..and maybe they should watch ‘Lost’ to understand what these ‘Others’ are capable of.